• Richard Sears – piano
  • Tootie Heath – drums
  • Patrick Wolff – saxophones
  • Steven Lugerner – woodwinds
  • JJ Kirkpatrick – trumpet
  • Garret Lang – bass
This evening's performance by the Richard Sears Trio with Tootie Heath is made possible in part by a commission from the Los Angeles Jazz Society.
Pianist and composer Richard Sears grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California. In 2005, Richard received a scholarship to attend the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Shelly Berg, John Clayton, and Alan Pasqua. Richard has recorded and performed with a diverse array of artists including Joshua Redman, Tootie Heath, Dave Binney, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Azar Lawrence. In 2012 and 2013, Richard competed as one of five finalists in the International Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition.

Special guest is jazz legend Albert "Tootie" Heath. The younger brother of Percy and Jimmy Heath,  Tootie Heath has long been a top hard bop-based drummer with an open mind toward more commercial styles of jazz. After moving to New York (1957), he debuted on record with John Coltrane.

Albert Heath was with J.J. Johnson's group (1958-1960) and the Jazztet (1960-1961), worked with the trios of Cedar Walton and Bobby Timmons in 1961, and recorded many records as a sideman for Riverside during that era. He lived in Europe in 1965-1968 (working frequently with Kenny Drew, Dexter Gordon, and backing touring Americans), and, after returning to the U.S., he played regularly with Herbie Hancock's sextet (1968-1969) and Yusef Lateef (1970-1974).

After an additional year in Europe, he joined the Heath Brothers band (1975-1978) and then settled in Los Angeles, where Tootie Heath continues freelancing, recording with the Riverside Reunion Band.